Posted: January 14, 2015
The craftsmen in the Gretsch Custom Shop have taken yet another step towards making the most historically accurate Gretsch guitars they can.
Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and his team searched far and wide for an original tailpiece that could serve as a template for the new models.
“I’ve been changing some of our parts to be more vintage correct to elevate our guitars to a higher level,” Stern said. “I’ve been wanting to work on the tailpiece for a long time. The hardest part was finding an original; that took a lot of time.”
Stern thought he had someone willing to let him borrow an original tailpiece in early 2014, but that fell through once the Gretsch enthusiast got nervous about lending the rare part out.
Luckily, Stern heard from Naoaki Toyofuku of Thrill on the String, a dealer in Japan with an incredible collection of vintage Gretsch guitars.
“He was kind enough to send me a couple tailpieces almost a year ago,” Stern explained. “I had to get them drawn up by our research and development department, and then we got a 3D print of the parts. Then, it was off to the manufacturer.”
What came out of the process is a non-symmetrical long and short version of the tailpiece that will go on the White Falcons and White Penguins, in addition to a symmetrical long and short version for Falcons and Penguins that are in custom colors. All are vintage correct.
“But if a customer wants to order a White Penguin with a symmetrical tailpiece, for example, we can do it,” Stern was quick to add.
Last year, Stern finished work on new vintage-correct knobs for White Falcons and Penguins, and the prodigious luthier said he is not yet finished in his quest for authenticity.
“The knobs were a pretty big project, and I have something that I’m working on for next year, but we’ll keep that under wraps for the time being,” he said. “We’ve gotta save some surprises!”
Posted: January 12, 2015
Chicago Music Exchange recently put a Gretsch G6112TCB-JR Center-Block through the paces.
The two-tone Jaguar Tan and Copper Metallic beauty elicits great tone as the reviewer performs the Kinks’ “Set Me Free” and Nico’s “These Days.”
Watch the full demo below.
Posted: January 8, 2015
Nashville-based Americana singer-songwriter Lera Lynn appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman earlier this week, performing “Out to Sea.” The tune is the opening track to Lynn’s album, The Avenues, which dropped in September 2014.
Although frequently categorized as Americana, folk, or country, Lynn headed into Joshua Grange’s studio in Los Angeles to record an album without genre limitations.
“I just want to stop thinking about music as a marketing campaign,” she said. “Ray Charles went from jazz to R&B to country. Paul McCartney will do a ballad next to ‘Helter Skelter’ and not think twice. The most successful and lasting artists let inspiration steer them, not genre or marketing pitch. I’m just doing what moves me as it comes.”
Watch Lynn and her talented band, including Grange on pedal steel and guitarist Ben Lewis, in the Letterman clip below.
Posted: January 5, 2015
Bono opened up about his Central Park bike crash in November 2014 in an A to Z post on New Year’s Day on U2′s website.
“On the day of my 50th birthday I received an injury because I was over indulging in exercise boxing and cycling, which was itself an overcompensation for overindulging on alcohol coming up to the big birthday,” he wrote. “I promised myself I would be more mindful of my limits, but just four years on, it happened again – a massive injury I can’t blame on anyone but myself, mainly because I blanked out on impact and have no memory of how I ended up in New York Presbyterian with my humerus bone sticking through my leather jacket. Very punk rock as injuries go.”
The 54-year old singer underwent multiple surgeries, the first of which lasted five hours.
“The elbow was washed out and debrided, a nerve trapped in the break was moved and the bone was repaired with three metal plates and 18 screws,” said orthopedic trauma surgeon Dean Lorich. And while the doctor anticipated a full recovery, Bono is not so sure.
Under I for Irish Pride, he writes, “Recovery has been more difficult than I thought … As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again. The band have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this.
“I personally would very much miss fingering the frets of my green Irish falcon or my (RED) Gretsch. Just for the pleasure, aside from writing tunes. But then does the Edge, or Jimmy Page, or any guitarist you know have a titanium elbow, as I do now? I’m all elbows, I am.”
This was certainly sad news to read, and we wish Bono the best. We also encourage any U2 fans to read the full A to Z post as it touches on his family, bandmates, religion, iTunes, Jimmy Fallon and more.
Posted: December 29, 2014
Interpol recently stopped by the set of Conan to perform the track “My Desire,” which comes off 2014′s El Pintor.
With a dimly lit set, the Paul Banks-led outfit offered a dark and passionate version of the song, much to the delight of host Conan O’Brien.
Watch Interpol in action below.
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